After five of the state championship games were postponed due to the winter storm, the games were finally played last week at various locations around the state. There were several coaches and school administrators who complained when they ended up having to travel; however, only two (North Gwinnett and Lee County) of the five home teams won the title game on their own fields.
Let’s take a look back at the games:
Class 7A: North Gwinnett 19, Colquitt County 17 – If you missed this game, you will need to go to the Georgia Public Television site and watch the final two minutes of this game. After Colquitt County was called for two illegal substitution penalties, they were also penalized for pass interference on the final play which set up a game winning 38-yard field goal from North Gwinnett’s Cameron Clark to win the game. I believe Colquitt County Coach Rush Propst’s clipboard is still spinning in the sky somewhere. North Gwinnett won their first state title in school history.
Class 6A: Lee County 28, Coffee 21 (overtime) – Lee County QB Jase Orndorff connected with Drequan Garmon on an 11-yard TD pass in overtime then Tay Mayo secured Lee County’s first state championship with an interception on Coffee’s possession. Coffee missed a 29-yard field goal at the end of regulation. Coffee RB Jameon Gaskin scored three touchdowns in the game to put Coffee up 21-7 before Lee County rallied in the second half.
Class 5A: Rome 38, Warner Robins 0 – Trai Hodges returned an interception 79 yards for a touchdown as Rome broke open the game in the second quarter. They would take a 21-0 lead at halftime as QB Knox Kadum was 8-0f-12 for 90 yards passing and a touchdown. He also rushed for 73 yards. Warner Robins could never get anything going as they were held to 1 yard rushing. Rome repeated as state champion.
Class 4A: Blessed Trinity 16, Marist 7 – QB Jake Smith completed 11-of-12 passes for 111 yards and a 9-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to give Blessed Trinity all they would need to defeat Marist for the school’s first state championship. The Titans’ defense held Marist to 63 yards rushing in the game.
Class 2A: Hapeville Charter 35, Rabun County 23 – Playing in only their seventh season, Hapeville Charter won the state title. QB Hajj-Malik Williams was responsible for all the scoring for the Hornets with three passing and two rushing. Hapeville Charter led 35-10 and held off a late rally by Rabun County in the final two minutes.
Class 1A (Public): Clinch County 21, Irwin County 12 – Trezmen Marshall and Charles McClelland combined for 249 yards and three touchdowns to lead Clinch County to their seventh state title. The Panthers’ defense set up the offense for the score which sealed the win when Marshall had a sack and forced a fumble to give the Panthers the ball at the Irwin County 24 with less than three minutes left.
BLOWOUT OF THE WEEK:
I don’t want to talk about.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
North Gwinnett Kicker Cameron Clark kicked the game-winning 38-yard field goal on the last play to give the Bulldogs their first state title. Clark had missed an extra point earlier in the quarter as Colquitt County took the lead later 17-16. Clark responded to the pressure to kick the winning field goal.
- Clinch County became the sixth school to win at least seven state championships. They join the elite company of Valdosta (22), Buford (11), Lincoln County (11), Carrollton (7), and Americus (7).
- Rome dominated their playoff competition this season. Their average margin of victory was 46.2 in the playoffs.
- Lee County-Coffee played only the sixth overtime game in championship history. Buford won the first championship overtime game in 2010.
- Lee County had never advanced past the second round before this season.
- Blessed Trinity and Marist was the first state championship game played between Catholic schools.
- Blessed Trinity coach Tim McFarlin became the 15th coach in Georgia history to win state titles at two schools. He previously won a title at Roswell.
The North Gwinnett Bulldogs have played for 57 seasons. They have a record of 307-283-9. They have made the playoffs 15 times. Their best season was in 2017 when they finished 14-1 and won their first state championship. North Gwinnett played their first game on October 27, 1961 when they lost 38-0 to Duluth. They won their first game on November 9, 1962 with a 12-0 win over Forsyth County. Their biggest rival is Duluth. They have an all-time record of 25-23-1. Bob Sphire is the winningest coach in their history with 110 wins. Their most notable players are OT Austin Shepherd (Minnesota Vikings), TE C.J. Uzomah (Cincinnati Bengals), OT Ja’Wuan James (Miami Dolphins) and TE Jared Cook (Tennessee Titans, St. Louis Rams, Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders). The Bulldogs play at Tom Robinson Memorial Stadium in Suwanee.
REVIEW OF MY PREVIEW:
From my preview of the 2017 Georgia High School Football season, let’s take a look at my picks and what really happened in the season. Correct predictions are in BOLD.
- State Champions:
- 7A – Roswell – finished 3-8. Lost to Hillgrove 49-7 in first round.
- 6A – Dalton – finished 7-4. Lost to Douglas County 13-6 in first round.
- 5A – Kell – finished 5-6. Lost to Flowery Branch 21-14 in first round.
- 4A – Cartersville – finished 11-1. Lost to Blessed Trinity 21-17 in second round.
- 3A – Peach County – finished 13-2. Lost to Calhoun 10-6 in state final.
- 2A – Callaway – finished 11-2. Lost to Brooks County 31-0 in quarterfinals.
- 1A (Public) – Clinch County – finished 12-2. Won state championship.
- 1A (Private) – Prince Avenue Christian – finished 11-2. Lost to Eagle’s Landing Christian 55-0 in semifinals.
- Surprise teams:
- 7A – Camden County – 2-7 in 2016 to 3-7 in 2017 after starting 2-1.
- 6A – Johns Creek – 8-3 in 2016 to 3-7 in 2017.
- 5A – Warner Robins – 3-8 in 2016 to 14-1 in 2017.
- 4A – Cairo – 11-2 in 2016 to 8-4 in 2017.
- 3A – Liberty County – 11-2 in 2016 to 9-4 in 2017.
- 2A – Thomasville – 5-5 in 2016 to 12-1 in 2017.
- 1A (public) – Charlton County – 3-6 in 2016 to 9-3 in 2017.
- 1A (private) – Tattnall Square – 12-1 in 2016 to 7-4 in 2017.
GEORGIA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL STATE CHAMPIONS:
- 7A: North Gwinnett
- 6A: Lee County
- 5A: Rome
- 4A: Blessed Trinity
- 3A: Calhoun
- 2A: Hapeville Charter
- 1A (public): Clinch County
- 1A (private): Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy
- GISA-AAA: Valwood School
- GISA-AA: Memorial Day
- Glory for Christ (homeschool football): East Atlanta
- GICAA-Division I: Crosspointe Christian Academy
- GICAA-Division II: Holy Ground Baptist Academy
The 2017 Georgia High School football season is now over. I want to thank all of my blog followers, visitors and those who liked these posts during the season. It has been a lot of work for me but a lot of fun to keep you informed during the season. I gather my information from several sources such the Georgia High School Football Daily, Georgia High School Football Historians (this is an awesome website), ScoreAtl, Tommy Palmer (The Professor of Georgia High School football) and several media websites. Each week I have tried to give you any tidbits I have learned or researched for this blog.